When not in use, a guitar tuner is unlikely to see the light of day and is destined to spend much of its life inside a gig bag or hard case. But not giving Tascam's new tuner access to nice, bright sunlight is very bad form indeed. The battery inside the tiny TC-1S is solar charged so if it goes flat, then so do you...

Fear not though, the tuner not having access to the energy-giving rays of the sun is not quite as terminal as it may first appear. Just in case leaving your tuner in the dark is a habit that's just too hard to break, the Tascam TC-1S can also charge its internal battery via the USB port. The 3.77 x 0.71 x 1.57-inch (96 x 18 x 40mm), 1.8oz (51g) chromatic tuner's bump-proof silicon cover is available in six colors and comes with a strap and clip to you can attach it to the outside of a gig bag instead of throwing it in the bag's pocket.

For electric instruments there's a 0.25-inch input jack to the left of the tuner and for acoustic players, there's a built-in microphone to the front. Note and pitch indicators are displayed on the grayscale LCD screen, the latter in 1 cent steps (in fine mode). Players can choose from four different display modes – bar, fine, strobe animation and needle – and there's external source calibration too.

Whether you're a green guitarist or someone who just wants to cut down on the expense and inconvenience of all those 9V batteries, the TC-1S could be just what the doctor ordered. It will be available from selected Tascam retailers some time in October for a little under US$40.